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WWII, a Sailfish, and Organic Chemistry: Meet Phil

Phil and our Volunteer Lori

Anne had the privilege of meeting one of our clients who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

Phil is not only incredibly intelligent, he is also fascinating. Originally from Michigan, he worked as a chemist for DuPont and later taught Organic Chemistry among other subjects.

In his home, he proudly displays a nine-foot sailfish that he caught, and he can vividly recount every detail of the catch. Additionally, he has several medals, earned during his military service in WWII, displayed in a shadow box on his wall. He shared a poignant story from his time as a combat medic in Germany -

“We were in Germany. I was just a bit North of where the Battle of the Bulge was. Actually, that’s a funny story. We were in an area surrounded on three sides by Germans so we couldn’t get through. We went from house to house in this little town looking for food and water if they had it. 
We came out of a door, and I saw the flash of a mortar coming toward us, and I just had time to turn my back. I had four holes in my back, two in my leg, one in my heel. I thought, I better get out of here. So I broke off the handle of a broom and used it as a crutch so I could limp outta there.  I got to a field hospital and they patched me up as best they could and put me in an ambulance.
We get to the gates of a hospital and the doors open and there’s two Germans that open the door. Gave me a scare! They were prisoners of war and were helping us. They decided to send me home. That was just a couple of days before the Battle of the Bulge. I lost a lot of my buddies in that. But I was lucky. I was very, very blessed.”

Phil is a treasured client and our volunteers enjoy every minute spent with him!


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